Power metal band Dragonforce has become the latest victim of a bogus copyright strike on YouTube. The band’s official YouTube channel was hit with a strike on August 17, 2023, for a video of their own song “Valley of the Damned.”
The strike was filed by someone named Gary B. George against Dragonforce‘s video, which showcases the Valley of the Damned album art with the eponymous song playing over it, and – get this – has been on the platform since October 9, 2022. So not only was George‘s uploaded after Dragonforce‘s, but is quite literally their song.
A copyright strike is bad news for any YouTube page, as the company’s policy is that if a page receives three strikes in a 90-day period, the entire page is removed. As it stands, just this video is flagged for removal, which YouTube says will happen in 13 days.
Dragonforce guitarist Herman Li took to Twitter to express his frustration with the situation. He said that YouTube support told him there was nothing they could do and that Dragonforce could not file a counter-claim because it was a third party making the claim of ownership of the original content. Li also said that YouTube support forwarded him to some lawyers who might be willing to fight the case on the band’s behalf.
This is not the first time that a band has been hit with a bogus copyright strike on YouTube. The fact that Dragonforce, a band with millions of fans and a long history of success, can be hit with a phony copyright strike is a reminder of how broken YouTube’s copyright system is. The system is designed to protect copyright holders, but it is also being used to bully and harass content creators. YouTube needs to do more to address is problem, and make it easier for content creators to file counter-claims, and it should be more transparent about how it handles copyright disputes.
One Twitter user going by the handle @MENSANurse hit the nail in the head when shared: “if they can do this to a huge artist as Dragonforce, imagine what they can do to smaller acts on the platform.”
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